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Napoleon Hill’s 12 Best Published Books, Ranked

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Friday, November 17, 2023

Napoleon Hill was extremely prolific and we’ve done our best to rank his 12 best books!

In the world of personal development and self-improvement literature, few names are as recognizable or impactful as Napoleon Hill.

His wisdom has enlightened and empowered millions, shaping the attitudes of success for nearly a century. His messages of positivity, personal power, and the capacity of the human mind to shape one's destiny are just as relevant today as they were when first published.

Hill's work offers a rich tapestry of motivational advice and practical guidance for achieving personal and professional success.

But where should one begin in exploring this vast reservoir of knowledge?

Whether you're new to Napoleon Hill's philosophy or are a seasoned student of his teachings, we’ve ranked his 12 published books — not an easy task!

Two of which just got published FOR THE FIRST TIME this year!

Let’s dive in.


12th. "The Magic Ladder to Success" (1930)

As one of Hill's early works, "The Magic Ladder to Success" provides valuable insights into the foundations of his philosophy. Though not as widely read as his later works, this book provides a unique perspective on Hill's early thoughts and concepts on success, making it a fascinating read for anyone interested in the evolution of his ideas.

"It’s a known fact that many men cannot do their best until they are actually fighting with their backs to the wall, under the stress of the most urgent necessity. Impending danger will enable a man to develop super human courage and strength of both body and mind far out of proportion to that normally used."

"Lack of decision has often resulted in insanity. Nothing is very bad or dreadful, once one has reached a decision to face the consequences."

"Study those whom you know to be failures (you’ll find them all around you) and observe that, without a single exception, they lack the firmness of decision, even in matters of the smallest importance."

11th. "How to Raise Your Own Salary" (1953)

Focusing on financial success, Hill provides valuable insights and strategies for wealth accumulation. The book emphasizes the power of personal belief, the value of learning, and the importance of recognizing and acting on opportunities. Perfect for readers on a journey towards financial independence, "How to Raise Your Own Salary" provides concrete strategies for financial improvement.

"Every person is what he is because of the thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind."

"Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches."

"There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge."


10th. "You Can Work Your Own Miracles" (1971)

A testament to the power of human potential, "You Can Work Your Own Miracles" reiterates Hill's firm belief in the individual's ability to shape their destiny. The book offers valuable insights on positive thinking, persistence, and creative vision. Though it might not enjoy the same recognition as some of Hill's other works, its empowering message makes it a valuable read for anyone seeking to understand the tenets of success and personal achievement.

"Meet struggle and master it, says nature, and you shall have strength and wisdom sufficient for all your needs."

"Every adversity, every unpleasant circumstance, every failure, and every physical pain carries with it the seed of an equivalent benefit."

"Memory is the 'filling cabinet' of the brain wherein is stored all thought impulses, all conscious experiences, and all sensations which reach the brain through the five physical senses."

9th. "Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement" (1951)

As a condensed guide to Hill's philosophy, "Keys to Success" provides a straightforward, accessible presentation of his teachings. Each principle receives a thorough exploration, with practical steps for implementation. Ideal for readers who prefer concise, action-oriented advice, this book distills complex concepts into manageable steps toward personal growth.

"Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement, and its lack is the stumbling block for ninety-eight out of every hundred people simply because they never really define their goals and start toward them."

"Successful people make decisions quickly (as soon as all the facts are available) and firmly. Unsuccessful people make decisions slowly, and they change them often."

"The starting point of all achievement is desire."


8th. "How to Sell Your Way Through Life" (1939)

More than a guide for salespeople and entrepreneurs, "How to Sell Your Way Through Life" argues persuasively that everyone, in some way, is a salesperson. Hill's exploration of selling as a fundamental life skill is eye-opening. The book provides actionable strategies for persuasive communication, negotiation, and influence – skills valuable not just for sales, but for virtually every aspect of life.

"When in doubt, do something, even if it is no more than to walk around the block and think what to do."

"Think well before you speak because your words may plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of some other person."

"Kindness is more powerful than compulsion."

7th. "Outwitting the Devil" (1938, published in 2011)

One of Hill's most intriguing works, "Outwitting the Devil" offers a unique exploration of the psychological barriers that impede success. Framed as a fictional dialogue between Hill and 'the Devil,' this book provides a candid examination of fear, indecision, and other obstacles that stand in the way of achievement. The narrative's philosophical bent makes this a compelling read for those intrigued by the conceptual exploration of success and the inner workings of the human mind.

"The capacity to surmount failure without being discouraged is the chief asset of every person who attains outstanding success in any calling."

"Failure is man-made circumstance. It is never real until accepted by man as permanent."

"Your only limitation is the one which you set up in your own mind."


6th. "The Master Key to Riches" (1945)

Offering a concise yet expansive overview of Hill's philosophy, "The Master Key to Riches" explores the concepts of personal achievement and financial independence. Here, Hill discusses key principles such as the golden rule, going the extra mile, and personal initiative. With its potent blend of practical advice and philosophical discussion, this book is a valuable guide for those seeking to enrich their lives both personally and professionally.

"A man’s ego is his greatest asset or his greatest liability, according to the way he relates himself to it."

"When the mind has been cleared of a negative mental attitude the power of Faith moves in and begins to take possession!"

"A definite purpose, backed by absolute faith, is a form of wisdom and wisdom in action produces positive results."

5th. "Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude" (1960)

Co-authored with W. Clement Stone, this powerful book encapsulates the belief that a positive mental attitude can define one's success. In it, Hill and Stone provide valuable insights and practical advice on transforming adversity into advantages, setting and achieving goals, and cultivating a positive outlook. Particularly beneficial for anyone navigating challenging times, this book affirms the resilience of the human spirit and the potential to thrive through a positive mindset.

"There is very little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative."

"Whatever your mind can conceive and can believe, it can achieve."

"So we do not lose heart… Because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."


4th. It Will Place You Wherever You Wish To Be Among Men (2023)

Napoleon Hill was extremely prolific and not all of his works have been published. And I’ve made it my personal mission to publish as many of his works as possible!

On January 1st, 1919, Napoleon Hill launched a new magazine called, “Hill’s Golden Rule.” In the first issue, he included a column called “Applied Psychology” and said that it was “the first of a series of twelve reading lessons which will appear in these columns.” Over the next 6 months he wrote a lesson each month for that column. Then he condensed them into a booklet called “It Will Place You Wherever You Wish To Be Among Men” and used that as his lead magnet for getting people to subscribe to his magazine.

He then wrote 6 more lessons for a total of 12. Referring to these two booklets, he said, “A man may literally re-create himself — make himself over — by an intelligent study and application of the Laws of Psychology. No man truly succeeds without applying them; whether he is conscious of the fact or not. More men would succeed if they would only learn them…”

When I first got my hands on these 12 lessons, I was astonished. There were familiar things that I read or that I’d heard before, but there were key insights and clarity that had been lost to time. Going back to the root source had a huge impact on me. And I think it will on you, too!

"Every Movement & Action Of The Human Body Is Caused, Controlled, And Directed By Thought, Through The Operation Of The Human Mind."

"The Presence Of Any Idea Or Thought In Your Consciousness Tends To Produce An Associated Feeling And To Urge You To Appropriate Muscular Action Transforming The Thought Into Physical Form."

"Fate Is A Queer Old Bird! She Is Constantly Shaking The Dice, And Changing Places With The Weak And The Strong, The Rich And The Poor, The Happy And The Miserable, Which Leads Us To Wonder If It Is Not A Good Policy To Treat Kindly The Most Lowly Laborer For He May Be The Man From Whom We Will Have To Take Orders Tomorrow."

3rd. Hand Of Destiny (2023)

This is another never-before-published book from Napoleon Hill! I am so excited to bring this manuscript into your hands. When I started collecting first-edition Napoleon Hill books, I had no idea that I would ever run across something this special.

As I held the pages, I literally got chills. After taking it home and having a chance to sit down with Hill’s words that had been lost to time, I discovered that the manuscript had sixteen separate writings where he told his personal life story between 1932 and 1954, as well as many of his thoughts on success. I had some very emotional and special times as I read these pages, and I wanted to be able to share them with you. So I collaborated with the Napoleon Hill Foundation to get the rights so I could put a copy of these rare manuscripts into your hands.

"I am sure that no effort which we extend to those who are in distress can go without some form of adequate reward. Not always does the reward come from those to whom the service is rendered, but it will come from one source or another."

"The procedure was this: Just before going to sleep at night, I would shut my eyes and see, in my imagination, this group of men seated with me around my Council Table. Here I had not only an opportunity to sit among those whom I considered to be great, but I actually dominated the group by serving as the chairman and leader."

"Somewhere in the cell structure of man is located an organ which receives vibrations of thought ordinarily called ‘hunches.’ So far, science has not discovered where this organ of the sixth sense is located, but that is not important. The fact remains that human beings do receive accurate knowledge through someplace other than the five physical senses. Such knowledge generally is received when the mind is under the influence of some form of extraordinary stimulation."


2nd. "The Law of Success" (1925)

In this comprehensive exploration of the principles of success, Hill delves deeper into the 16 essential lessons that lay the groundwork for accomplishment. From self-confidence to saving, imagination, and organized planning, "The Law of Success" provides an exhaustive guide to the tenets of personal and professional growth. For anyone who appreciates comprehensive, profound analysis and is willing to undertake an in-depth study of success, this book is indispensable.

"Most so-called FAILURES are only temporary defeats."

"Success in life depends upon happiness, and happiness is found in no other way than through SERVICE that is rendered in a spirit of love."

"No man has a chance to enjoy permanent success until he begins to look in a mirror for the real cause of all his mistakes."

1st. "Think and Grow Rich" (1937)

As Napoleon Hill's seminal work, "Think and Grow Rich" has impacted countless lives and remains a cornerstone in the genre of self-help literature. Hill studied the lives of over 500 successful individuals, extracting key principles common to their achievements. The book, however, doesn't focus merely on financial wealth. Instead, it delves into the power of thought, the importance of goal-setting, and the mastery of fear and procrastination. The universal appeal and timeless principles make this book an essential read for anyone seeking to improve their lives and reach their fullest potential.

"The starting point of all achievement is desire."

"What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

"You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct, and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be."


Final Thoughts

Through "Think & Grow Rich," Napoleon Hill offers us a map to success - a map grounded not in fleeting tactics but in robust principles and a profound understanding of human nature. He highlights that success isn't an overnight phenomenon but a journey of self-discovery, conviction, and relentless effort.

What shines through the pages of "Think & Grow Rich" is Hill's unwavering belief in the power of the human spirit and mind. Through principles like the Power of Thought, Desire, Faith, and more, Hill implores us to recognize and harness our innate potential. He illustrates how, with the right mindset, unwavering desire, meticulous planning, and steadfast persistence, we can overcome obstacles and manifest our dreams into reality.

Moreover, Hill's focus on the role of a Master Mind underscores the value of collective intelligence and collaborative efforts in achieving success. After all, we're social creatures, and our shared knowledge and experiences can propel us to greater heights.

To end, let's revisit a quote that serves as the bedrock of Hill's philosophy: "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." So, dear reader, dare to dream, dare to believe, and equip yourself with the wisdom of "Think & Grow Rich" as you set forth on your journey towards success. Happy growing, and remember - it all starts with a thought!

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